SAG Approves Joint Negotiations on New Prime-Time Deal

Guild’s national board overwhelmingly votes to combine talks this fall with AFTRA

Last Updated: March 14, 2010 @ 7:50 PM

The national board of the Screen Actors Guild on Saturday approved an agreement to hold joint negotiations on a new prime-time TV contract with the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists.

According to a SAG spokesperson, the measure was overwhelmingly approved with a 78-22 vote.

SAG and AFTRA are now set to begin negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Oct. 1.

Not only will the two labor unions combine the efforts of their negotiating teams at that time, they will also partner on the wages and working-conditions process, with AFTRA national executive director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and SAG national executive director David White already in communication on how to coordinate meetings.

“None of this is easy, but we’ve managed to successfully perform the joint process enough in previous negotiations,” Hedgpeth told TheWrap, noting that the two labor orgs combined negotiations on a commercials contract last year.

According to SAG’s announcement Saturday, the same framework from that joint effort will be used for the upcoming prime-time negotiations.

Compounding logistics for AFTRA is the fact that it’s also scheduled to negotiate with the AMPTP this fall on a new “networks” deal, which covers newscasters, daytime performers — pretty much all the onscreen talent not seen in prime-time sitcoms and dramas.

“We’re still figuring out how this is going to work,” Hedgepeth noted.